Trumka was president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations and an ally of the Democrats in the United States.
Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and an ally of the Democrats in the US, died unexpectedly, according to a union spokesman.
Trumka, 72, died Thursday while celebrating her grandson’s birthday, according to an email sent to unions.
He was the key union leader for Democrats to pass the Mexico-United States-Canada Treaty (T-MEC) in 2019.
In that year, the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, held a meeting with Trumka, to whom, he said, he expressed his commitment to enforce the new labor law in the country and his interest in having the T-MEC approved. .
“He was more than the head of the AFL-CIO, he was a good close personal friend,” President Joe Biden said Thursday at the White House before a meeting with Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander groups. “At least he was with people who adored him.”
Trumka was elected secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO in 1995 and held that position until 2009, when he was elected president, according to the 12.5 million-member union. He was the youngest president of the United Mine Workers of America at age 33 in 1982.
Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the news of Trumka’s death to the full Senate shortly after noon Thursday.
“He had in his veins, in every atom of his body, the hearts, the thoughts, the needs of the working people of America,” said Schumer. “The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most.”
Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said Trumka was an advocate for workers on issues such as workplace safety, racial justice and retirement security.
“We have lost one of the nation’s fiercest and most effective advocates for workers,” Saunders said in a statement. “From his early days working in the Pennsylvania coal mines, Rich has lived the values of the labor movement with the utmost passion and purpose. It has touched and improved so many lives. “
Under the AFL-CIO constitution, if the president dies, the secretary-treasurer must call a meeting of the union’s executive council to elect a successor for the remainder of his term